Posts Tagged ‘retro’

by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 20)

Here it is, the season finale. It’s been quite an awesome ride with this season with only one small misfire (Kahn/Mahal) and a huge number of very strong episodes and near-classics. Even ones that were not great like Chevy Chase/Billy Joel or Jill Clayburgh/Eddie Money were still fairly good. It’s pretty telling of a season’s quality when some of the worst episodes average at probably about *** 1/2.

Of course, we close out the season as we always did from seasons 2-5: with lovable reliable ol’ Buck Henry, a very easy host to work with for the Not Ready For Primetime Players and one who was willing to go places with the sketches that many other hosts would’ve shied away from doing.


The Show:

“The Boy in the Plastic Pants Suit” will not be seen tonight.

1. Cold Opening: Nixon’s Book (2:59)

Former President Richard Nixon (Aykroyd) urges people to buy his book and says that even if you don’t believe him and you don’t want to read it, you can just buy it and then kick it around. That’ll show him!

– Great use of Danny’s Nixon impression and it was also pretty funny to see after Aykroyd’s blatant attack on Tricky Dick during the goodnights last week.
– Aykroyd’s solution to buy the book just to kick it around was hilarious and I liked him attributing it to his famous quote, “You don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.” His comment that Pat was already on her fourth copy was also pretty amusing.
– Garrett Morris gets a role here that any extra could’ve played.
Rating: *** 1/2

2. Monologue (3:29)

Buck professes his love for hosting the show and being a part of this great experience all the while some scrolling text proclaims Buck’s career to be over and that he is clinging onto his last shred of fame.

– Hilarious monologue. I loved the text that scrolled by during Buck’s serious speech about the dignity he has, his loving family, and the fact that NBC being in third place can’t really afford to be sentimental by thrusting a sad-sack like Buck onto the stage as the host of the season finale. The whole thing was just timed perfectly too.
Rating: **** 1/2

3. Nerd Prom (7:50)

Todd DiLaMuca (Murray) gets ready to escort Lisa Loopner (Radner) to the prom along with Todd’s dad Marshall (Henry), who drives them there. They eventually convince Mrs. Loopner (Curtin) to join them as well.

– Nice callback to the previous Nerds sketch with Lisa playing the same piano tune at the beginning.
– Another terrific sketch featuring the Nerds. Buck Henry was a great addition as Marshall DiLaMuca (still DiLaBounta at the time), but of course everyone worked really hard in making this great sketch work well again.
– My favourite parts were Gilda saying she knows the facts of life (she DID get an A in health), Buck’s lame John Travolta joke, pretty much all the interaction between Billy and Gilda, and the quick moment with Buck picking his nose.
– I like how with every sketch, the death of “the late Mr. Loopner” gets more gruesome and mysterious.
Rating: *****

4. Samurai T.V. Repairman (3:27)

Mr. Dantley (Henry) visits the electronic repair shop to have Samurai Futaba (Belushi) take a look and repair his television.

– Of course, nothing will ever top the classic Samurai Delicatessen sketch but I’ve never really disliked any of these sketches.
– I particularly liked the inspector tag on the TV from Japan being revealed to be the Samurai’s mother’s ID number.
– The ending with Belushi striking it with the sword and fixing it and then using his swords for antennas was also brilliant.
Rating: ****

5. Sodom Chamber of Commerce (4:17)

The ancient ciity of Sodom holds a council in which its members (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, & Murray) attempt to come up with a positive spin on their city that will do away with the whole imagery of sodomy and human sacrifice.

– Very funny and creative sketch. They could never get away with something like this today for the subject matter alone. I mean, an entire sketch about anal sex? The censors would pass out.
– Great performance from Buck here as the sturdy straightman. His deadpan delivery on some ridiculous and dark lines made them even more effective. He even had some fairly cheesy lines here but because of Buck’s wonderful performance, he made them work too.
– Murray was hilarious too, especially his delivery while reading their slogan: “You have to be crazy to live in Sodom. Crazy about sodomy.”
– The ending with Jane, Laraine, and Gilda was great.
Rating: **** 1/2

6. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

Donny Osmond consummates his marriage while his wife, Debbie, watches.

7. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (9:32)
Guest: Laraine Newman and Bill Murray

Best Jokes: hamburgers; fanfare expression; Charlie Chaplin’s body; Italy/abortions

– Yet ANOTHER great sponsor bit.
– The fanfare bit really worked due to Aykroyd’s terrific delivery.
– The first piece is Laraine Newman reporting from the Son of Sam trial via an artist’s rendering because there were no cameras allowed in the courthouse. Pretty funny stuff here, actually, with the crappy drawing and the reporting giving us absolutely no real information on the case.
– Bill Murray comes by to review The Greek Tycoon based on a quick clip he is shown at the last second. His best bit was accusing one of the actors for saying “excuse me” and stealing Steve Martin’s line in the process. His attempt at calling Jackie Onassis (to inform her that the movie ripped off her life) was also hilarious, especially him saying John Belushi’s name after his own name doesn’t get him anywhere. Terrific segment.
– Aykroyd’s commentary on Betty Ford’s alcoholism was pretty funny devolving into a reference to other first ladies’ problems with the juice. It died with the audience though.
– The Point/Counterpoint segment deals with Dan and Jane arguing in a courteous way about which side they will take, but then they soon devolve into a sharp-tongued debate about the merits of jogging. I like the minor changes they made to this and it made for another classic point/counterpoint.
– Perfect edition of Update this week.
Rating: *****

8. The Olympia Cafe (5:05)

Life continues at the Chicago-based restaurant where a representative (Henry) from Rent-a-Doberman comes in to talk with Pete (Belushi) about getting a guard dog in the restaurant to protect it from burglary.

– Very funny edition of this recurring sketch. I really liked Belushi haggling the price of the doberman rental and his consrant firing and rehiring of Murray’s character was a hoot as well. It really says something for Bill’s acting when I actually felt really bad for him everytime he got mistreated in this sketch.
– Belushi grabbing an axe to take care of “that lamb in the basement” was a great little moment.
Rating: ****

9. Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Music (2:56)

Mr. Mike sings a tune called “Baby Ghouls” while a vampire (Newman) provides backup and eventually bites his neck.

– An example of Mr. Mike’s strange warped sense of humour. This wasn’t so much laugh-out-loud funny as much as it was an insane, strange, and dark conceptual piece with some great stuff from a singing Mr. Mike and Laraine.
– I loved Laraine’s sign-language bit at the beginning.
Rating: *** 1/2

10. More Insects to Worry About (4:41)

Joan Face (Curtin) interviews Dr. Russell Bedanza (Henry) about other various forms of insects that are making their way to the United States.

– The first time they did this sketch, I thought it was okay but I don’t really see the merit in repeating it again in the same season. This was actually quite a bit better than the first edition though and Buck and Jane had great chemistry together.
– The part that made me laugh the most is Jane quickly mentioning that part of Buck’s research included living with the insects as one of their kind. My favourite insect that Buck mentions is the one that enters through any opening on the body and brings in everday items to the brain like car keys, a paperback novel, and other such ridiculous items.
Rating: ****

11. Stunt Puppy (4:54)

Middle-aged actor Howard (Henry) is directed to inflict abuse on a puppy during a film shoot, but the director (Murray) makes sure to bring in a stunt puppy for the scenes.

– This was essentially a carbon-copy of Stunt Baby, but it was still hilarious nonetheless. Murray turns in another great smarmy performance as the director and Buck’s scene of violence against the puppy was almost as good as the one he had with the baby in his previous episode.
Rating: ****

12. Bad Conceptual Art (2:58)

Leonard Pinth-Garnell (Aykroyd) presents a piece on bad conceptual art named “Pavlov Video Chicken I” featuring three performers (Morris, Newman, & Radner).

– Yet ANOTHER recurring sketch tonight. And yet, with all of the recurring pieces tonight, it’s still looking like another excellent episode is in the books tonight.
– This was an okay edition of the sketch but overall it was not quite as good as most of these pieces were. It felt like they were just being weird and thought it would translate into great material but it didn’t really work as well as it was planned.
Rating: **

13. The Franken and Davis Show (4:20)

Al and Tom prepare to do their “famous” sumo wrestling piece but Davis can no longer take the pressure of hiding his secret. After Al reveals his “wife” and “son,” Tom yells out that they are in fact gay lovers and have been living a lie. This causes Al’s family to walk out on him.

– This was excellent and one of my favourite Franken and Davis pieces that these guys ever did. The audience jeering when Tom asks if they have respect for Al now was the cherry on the cake.
– I especially liked Al’s son’s outburst about how much he hates him now.
– The ending was so dark with Franken committing suicide but the two of them waving after the title card made it even funnier with Tom declaring that Al “didn’t really shoot himself.”
Rating: *****

14. Sun Ra performs “Space is the Place” and “Space-Loneliness” (6:03)

– Hands-down, one of the strangest performances in the history of the show. There’s been some odd acts on the show like the I’m The Slime performance by Frank Zappa, David Bowie singing Boys Keep Swinging with a super-imposed puppet body, and Devo in general, but this was one of the most oddly compelling ones that also doubled as one of the more creative performances I’ve seen in some time.
– I also find it very interesting that this was pushed to the very end of the show. Perhaps Lorne knew they would lose a lot of people at this point and didn’t want to take that risk. Or maybe it was the network’s suggestion not to take it. Either way, it was probably a wise business move because I’m sure a lot of SNL‘s audience was pretty weirded out by this segment.
– They keep playing long after the bumper has shown up.

15. Goodnights

– Buck mentions “they’ll all be back in the fall… or not.”


OVERALL: A very, very strong season finale with only one lowpoint (Bad Conceptual Art) and many classic sketches to choose from. It’s always nice to have a reliable host like Buck Henry close out the season and the show always benefitted from having him as the host. There was A LOT of recurring material tonight (the only things that weren’t recurring was the cold open, monologue, and the sodomy sketch. It didn’t really bug me though because 90% of it was great to begin with and warranted some additional follow-ups to the sketches.

I’ve said all I can say about the season in general so let’s just say that it ended on a high note to what was an INCREDIBLE string of episodes with VERY minor blips on the radar.


HOST: BUCK HENRY – 7 segments (Monologue; Nerd Prom; Samurai T.V. Repairman; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; More Insects to Worry About; Stunt Puppy)

DAN AYKROYD – 5 segments (Nixon’s Book; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Bad Conceptual Art)
JOHN BELUSHI – 3 segments (Samurai T.V. Repairman; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe)
JANE CURTIN – 6 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; More Insects to Worry About; Stunt Puppy)
GARRETT MORRIS – 5 segments (Nixon’s Book; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy; Bad Conceptual Art)
BILL MURRAY – 5 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 5 segments (Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Music; Bad Conceptual Art)
GILDA RADNER – 5 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy; Bad Conceptual Art)

TOM DAVIS – 1 segment (The Franken and Davis Show)
AL FRANKEN – 1 segment (The Franken and Davis Show)




Best Shows:

1. Steve Martin/Blues Brothers (4/22/78)
2. Robert Klein/Bonnie Raitt (1/28/78)
3. Buck Henry/Sun Ra (5/20/78)

Worst Shows:

1. Madeline Kahn/Taj Mahal (10/8/77)
2. Chevy Chase/Billy Joel (2/18/78)
3. Jill Clayburgh/Eddie Money (3/18/78)

Best Hosts:

1. Steve Martin
2. Buck Henry
3. Michael Palin

Worst Hosts:

1. Hugh Hefner
2. Michael Sarrazin
3. Art Garfunkel

Best Musical Guests:

1. Elvis Costello
2. Ray Charles
3. The Blues Brothers

Worst Musical Guests:

1. Keith Jarrett
2. Libby Titus
3. Ashford & Simpson

This was a really tough list to make and a lot of the ‘worst’ categories are just the weakest by default.


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 19)

We’re getting close, folks.

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: Paraquat Chase (2:36)

The journey of some paraquat-laced marijuana is followed from some field in Mexico all the way to New York City where a young actor (Murray) buys a joint from a member of the SNL Band.

– Creative opening, if not flat-out hilarious.
– I always like Gilda doing a foreign accent and John did a good job here as well.
– Despite Aykroyd’s voice-only role here, I think I’m going to include him at the end in the appearances section because he was such a major part of this opening.
Rating: ** 1/2

2. Monologue (4:40)

Richard talks about his Oscar win and then announces that a certain Not Ready For Primetime Player convinced him to put on an acting performance. He does a scene from Hamlet but is interrupted by John Belushi (who claims he was helping out a fellow actor). Dreyfuss’ insistence that John ruined his monologue segues into an angry rant from the future star of Animal House.

Pretty similar to Art Garfunkel’s monologue from earlier in the season, but Belushi was very funny as per usual and I always love his angry ranting. Richard was great foil here too as a straightman and he actually cracked up quite a bit during John’s rant. However, it was pretty natural and he made it seem like it was part of the monologue.
– I believe there was actual tension between Dreyfuss and Belushi during the week leading up to this episode, much like there was between Belushi and Gary Busey as well. What was it with John not getting along with Oscar nominees/winners?
Rating: *** 1/2

3. Cone Encounters of the Third Kind (7:11)

Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) continues to lose his mind with the visions of a strange cone-shaped object. After he becomes quite agitated, he witnesses an ad on TV for Beldar’s (Aykroyd) driving school and seeks out the Conehead family. Meanwhile, Merkon (Morris) and Kuldroth (Belushi) visit the family for a status report on their takeover of Earth.

– As Susan Saint James put it in her 1981 monologue, this is what would be known as the “host sketch,” a segment designed to revolve around a famous project that the host was involved in. In this case, it’s Dreyfuss’ role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind mixed with a typical Coneheads sketch. This was pretty good though.
– Dreyfuss was great here as the exasperated Roy Neary (though he did look like he was on the verge of giggles at times) and Dan, Jane, and Laraine were excellent as always as the pointy-headed family. Belushi and Garrett were good additions as fellow coneheads.
– Beldar’s driving instructor commercial was pretty amusing.
– Did anyone catch the quick Walter Cronkite appearance on the TV in the background?
– The special effects were so delightfully cheesy.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Jimmy Buffet sings “Son of a Sailor” (3:10)

– The beginning with the Jaws music playing for a moment and Richard looking around nervously was the start of an amusing runner for this episode.
– Jimmy delivers a pretty good laid-back performance here.
– Does anyone know why Jimmy is in a cast here? He even references it in his song, which was pretty funny.

5. Sex Test (4:50)

Richard Dreyfuss tests viewers’ knowledge of sex-related topics with the help of various sex specialists (Morris, Murray, Newman, & Radner).

– This was a terrific piece with some good performances from the cast and Dreyfuss as the main moderator of the sketch. My favourite expert was probably Bill Murray as the sleazy Penthouse Magazine advisor. Garrett being credited as a “black sex therapist” was pretty ridiculous too.
– Some of the statements were ridiculous, especially Richard saying that couples should have sex the same amount of times every week equal to the years they’ve been married.
Rating: ****

6. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

– Brooke Shields looks back.

7. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (10:28)
Guests: Bill Murray (with Richard Dreyfuss & Marsha Mason) and Roseanne Roseannadanna

Best Jokes: car recall; Federal Reserve currency

– Loved the sponsor bit again but the audience didn’t seem to get it.
– Jane’s opening piece about the fan mail complaining that she reacts in an over-the-top way was hilarious, especially Dan’s comment and the culmination of it later when Roseanne makes her appearance.
– Bill Murray stops by to comment on the crappy job he did at predicting the Oscars and makes his case that Richard Burton should have won over Richard Dreyfuss. He shows a clip of Belushi-as-Dreyfuss and Gilda-as-Marsha Mason in a “clip” from The Goodbye Girl, which was hysterical. Gilda’s non-reactiun and Belushi’s impression made for a hilarious segment. Richard’s a pretty good sport for letting the show do this while he was the host because they ribbed him a bit with this segment.
– Roseanne Roseannadanna comments on two UFO sightings outside of Florida and responds to Mr. Richard Feder and his many questions. The usual great stuff from Gilda here as she seamlessly goes from the topic at hand to disgusting side topics. I especially liked her asking Jane if a rear end ever talked to her. Jane’s huge freakout was quite funny and even moreso than usual because of the spology bit she did at the beginning of Update. Plus, I got to see her bra again. Thank YOU, Jane Curtin.
– There were only like four actual jokes this week but they were all good, especially the two I highlighted.
Rating: **** 1/2

8. Nick Springs (6:49)

Nick the Lounge Singer (Murray) entertains a number of newlyweds at the Pocomount Honeymoon Lounge with the help of Paul Shaffer and an appearance from Jimmy Joe Red Sky (Aykroyd).

– These sketches are always a buttload of fun. One of Bill’s most popular characters takes center-stage here and does some great riffing on some classic songs, particularly the one he does at the beginning.
– Nick’s interaction with his audience is great as well and I especially liked him singing Poison Ivy to Belushi & Radner and then singing Havana Negila to a terrified Richard Dreyfuss playing a Jewish music-biz producer. This is like the third or fourth time I’ve noticed ol’ Dick cracking up too.
– Another reference to a Dreyfuss film… Close Encounters of the Third Kind again.
– This was definitely a classic. Maybe the best Nick the Lounge Singer sketch so far.
Rating: *****

9. Pet Peeves (7:31)

A pair of lovers (Dreyfuss & Newman) confess to each other what they hate most about each other’s personalities and the little things they do that drive each other crazy.

– A Marilyn Suzanne Miller classic if I ever saw one. She proved to be quite the prolific writer in the early years and her sketches (which are more like one-act plays) were usually the highlight or very close to the highlight of the episodes they appear in.
– The acting here was great and it was to be expected from Dreyfuss being an Oscar-noominated actor and all but Laraine definitely holds her own here as well.
Rating: *****

10. The David Susskind Show (4:51)

To commemorate Mother’s Day, David Susskind (Murray) welcomes Tom Snyder (Aykroyd), Henry Kissinger (Belushi), and Leon Spinks (Morris) along with each of their mothers.

– Funny sketch with a grounded performance from Bill Murray as David Susskind. I loved when he was using all the unnecessary big words at the beginning of the sketch.
– Jane, Laraine, and Gilda were funny as the mothers but I believe Jane was the best of the three as Emma Lou Snyder. She had Tom’s mannerisms down fairly well and was extremely funny to boot. Gilda’s look as Leon’s mother was also very funny.
– It’s been a while since Belushi busted out his Kissinger impression.
Rating: *** 1/2

11. Gary Tigerman sings “White Oaxacan Moon” (2:46)

– I expected to hate this strange slow-tempo song but the chorus actually hooked me quite a bit and Tigerman’s voice was pretty good as well.
– Pretty obscure guest, though.

12. Father Guido Sarducci (4:43)

Father Guido Sarducci (writer Don Novello)  takes center-stage and explains to everyone how you pay for your sins when you die. Some sins are not worth much, like masturbating, but it adds up.

– The debut of a majorly popular recurring character. This first edition was very, very funny and Don had lots of great lines and some brilliant comic timing. I loved his remarks about Jesus’ brother Billy Christ, how much of a fine each sin accounts for, as well as his quick comment about there being no free lunch. A near-classic.
– Don is on crutches because of his injury sustained during the Penalty Box sketch during the Michael Sarrazin dress rehearsal.
Rating: **** 1/2

13. Richard Dreyfuss sings “I Want To Be Seduced” (2:28)

– Yes, you read that right. Dreyfuss is singing a song. He actually does a half-decent job here and it’s a pretty charming little performance.
– One thing: if this was a song written by Gary Tigerman, why did Dreyfuss perform it instead of him?

14. Goodnights

– Land Shark finally gets to attack Dreyfuss after the hints at it earlier in the night. It’s not Chevy, but it was still a funny little capper.
– Dreyfuss and Belushi share a pretty big hug so maybe the tension was over-exaggerated or they did that because there was some respect between them regardless of Belushi thinking Richard Burton should’ve won the Oscar instead of the host.
– Dan Aykroyd shows off his anti-Nixon “Don’t Buy Books From Crooks” shirt.

OVERALL: Of course, it was an unenviable task to have to follow last week’s killer episode but this one never really faltered and more than held its own, bolstering a handful of little-known classic sketches. Richard was a charming host and even though he had trouble keeping a straight face at times, he was still entertaining and put a good effort in, particularly with Laraine in the Pet Peeves sketch. I’d like to imagine what the show would’ve been like had Richard Burton won the Oscar and hosted instead of Dreyfuss. I bet he would’ve been good with his theatre background and everything. Still, this was an excellent episode and its only small flaw was that the cold open wasn’t all that.


HOST: RICHARD DREYFUSS – 6 segments (Monologue; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Nick Springs; Pet Peeves; “I Want To Be Seduced”)

DAN AYKROYD – 5 segments (Paraquat Chase; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
JOHN BELUSHI – 6 segments (Paraquat Chase; Monologue; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
JANE CURTIN – 3 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; The David Susskind Show)
GARRETT MORRIS – 3 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; The David Susskind Show)
BILL MURRAY – 6 segments (Paraquat Chase; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 5 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Nick Springs; Pet Peeves; The David Susskind Show)
GILDA RADNER – 5 segments (Paraquat Chase; Sex Test; Weekend Update [2 roles]; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)

TOM DAVIS – none

EPISODE MVP: Bill Murray

by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 18)

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: Rock Concert (3:32)

Don Kirshner (Paul Shaffer) presents another edition of Rock Concert with the two hottest blues musicians on tap right now, the Blues Brothers (Aykroyd & Belushi). The duo sing “Hey Bartender” before Don closes out the segment.

– Paul Shaffer is always fun with his impression of Don Kirshner. This sketch was no different but he was CLEARLY reading directly off the cue cards here. His hilariously stiff turning towards the stage made up for that though.
– Because most of this segment was a musical performance, I can not rate this in good conscience. I will say that I’ve always enjoyed the performances from Danny and John as the Blues Brothers as well. I always forget that Belushi was quite the talented musician on top of being a great comedic performer.

2. Monologue (5:56)

Steve does some stand-up and then shows off his magic skills by pickpocketing an unsuspecting audience member (Murray).

– Excellent monologue. Steve was his usual great charismatic self with some fantastic stand-up especially the stuff he does on going over an audience’s head with his material. I also really loved his story about the cathedral and the story he then read that said “Apply to infested area.”
– Bill did a great job here too as a clueless audience member and the whole part with Steve basically stripping him down was hilarious.
Rating: *****

3. Hey You! (1:28)
– Repeat from Mary Kay Place/Willie Nelson (12/10/77).
– Wait a second! I just realized now… is that Buck Henry in the really quick shot before they cut from the bar scene?
Rating: *****

4. Festrunk Brothers (7:58)

The swinging Czech brothers (Martin & Aykroyd) are back and this time, they await the arrival of two foxes along with their friend Cliff (Morris). Unfortunately for them, Cliff convinces them that they’ve been tricked and that the girls are not coming over.

– Wow, these characters are already getting a huge reaction just from their entrance onto the set.
– Another hilarious and classic edition of the Festrunk Brothers sketches. I particularly love the energy that they put into their performances and as far as specifics go, that huge vacuum cleaner thing was great and Cliff making fun of the brothers for their catchphrases was also pretty amusing.
– I guess I didn’t really get the joke about going to the Statue of Liberty for birth control devices. I feel stupid so can someone explain this to me?
– I think Garrett almost lost it at one point.
Rating: *****

5. Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber (6:33)

Theodoric (Martin) treats his patients with many prehistoric methods like curing one woman’s (Newman) blood loss with additional bloodletting, curing one man’s broken legs with, yes, additional bloodletting, and having his assistant Brungilda (Radner) helping out with the proceedings.

– Another classic sketch. They would follow this up with one about Theodoric as a judge, but it never quite lived up to this classic first installment.
– The best parts in this sketch was Bill Murray’s whole scene, Belushi as a hunchback saying that Theodoric previously worked on it, Steve’s dissection of even more medieval practices, the bit with the Caladrious bird (it seemed like a bit of a blooper), and the final speech as well which was very reminiscent of that great Mike McMack sketch from the season premiere.
– Everything about this worked though really and the performances were terrific from all involved. The highlights were most likely from Steve and Gilda. I got a kick out of Gilda’s strange mannerisms and groaning noises that she kept making.
Rating: *****

6. Dancing in the Dark (3:12)

Two strangers (Martin & Radner) spot each other from opposite sides of a bar and begin to dance throughout the studio while everyone else is frozen in motion.

– Yet another classic sketch. This is probably one of Gilda’s (and definitely Steve’s) best moments on the show and they really excelled at doing this flawless, yet goofy dancing seqquence for the entire duration of the segment.
– I’m running out of stars, guys.
Rating: *****

7. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

– Pat Nixon has a gallstone removed.

8. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (5:58)
Guest: Garrett Morris

Best Jokes: Jimmy Hoffa; nasal contraceptive; Garrett killed

– Garrett does the only commentary here to test out marijuana for paraquat and it was quite funny. I love how Aykroyd said that a survey shows 97% of SNL viewers smoke it daily. The later story about Garrett added to it and was pretty funny as well.
– For the third week in a row, we have a Point/Counterpoint segment, this time on abortions. This one was better than last week’s good edition and at least we got the “Jane, you ignorant slut” argument back again. I love how angry they get during their segment and then how they’re completely cordial afterwards.
Rating: ****

9. King Tut (3:01)

Steve talks about the commercialization of King Tut and the way he’s being exploited before launching into a giddy performance highlighting exactly what he just condemned.

– One classic after another. After a brief break with a great-but-not-perfect Update, we’re back to the classic sketches with another fantastic performance from Steve and a wonderful overall segment.
– If I’m not mistaken, there are members of the Dirt Band backing him up.
– I heard a segment on Opie and Anthony where they TRASHED this song. I have to say… are they retarded?! Just because not everything the man makes is gold means you need to trash his classic bits.
Rating: *****

10. Love Story (4:44)

A middle-aged couple (Belushi & Curtin) admit their extra-marital affairs to each other and it helps them get in the mood for one another in the bedroom.

– A great sketch with some terrific chemistry between John Belushi and Jane Curtin, which is funny considering they hated each other.
– The two actors really do some of their best work here and the way in which they describe their sexual encounters to each other was a hoot. The ending was very funny too with the revelation that they may be lying to each other just to get in the mood for sex. Jane yelling about rubber gloves made me fall off my chair laughing.
Rating: ****

11. Gary Weis Film: Swan Lake Ballet (1:53)

Various ballerinas perform to the tune of “Swan Lake” along with some hip hop performers, as choreographed by Toni Basil.

– Probably one of the better Gary Weis films. This wasn’t played for laughs at all but it was well-done and the choreography was quite good as expected. Also, this would be the last film by Gary Weis that appeared on Saturday Night Live.
– If anyone has more information on this film that’d be great. Like who the ballerinas/hip hop dancers were, etc.
Rating: ****

12. Troff ‘n’ Brew (2:55)

A number of business executives (Martin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, & Murray) stop by for lunch at the Troff ‘n’ Brew, a restaurant where you can eat like a pig… quite literally.

– Pretty funny and creative sketch that was probably a lot of fun to perform in. The juxtaposition of the businessmen dipping their faces into the chili trough while talking shop was funny stuff.
– I really liked the subtle bit with the pictures on the back wall, especially the one with the people’s faces covered with chili and it saying “This chili is so hot.”
– The hosedown was a funny sight gag at the end.
Rating: ***

13. Nerds Science Fair (5:24)

Lisa Loopner (Radner) and Todd DiLaMuca (Murray) are back again and this time they’re competing in a science fair against fellow nerds like the competitive Charles Knerlman (Martin) and their friend Grant Robinson Jr. (Morris).

– Wow, the Nerds are back already after only two episodes but that’s okay because Lisa and Todd are two of the most endearing characters that were on during the first five years. This was another great sketch with these characters.
– I especially liked Todd and Lisa’s project, Dialing for Toast, and Garrett coming up with a “project” that involves rubbing balloons on a sweater to make statis electricity.
– Steve was hilarious here as per the norm for the entire night and he really pulled off the snobbish nerd thing really well. I like how his project was a plutonium bomb.
Rating: **** 1/2

14. The Blues Brothers sing “I Don’t Know” (3:54)

– A second performance from these guys? I’m down. Much like the cold open, what we got here was another entertaining performance and some great vocals by Belushi.
– Belushi did some pretty crazy acrobats here for a bigger guy.

15. Nest Week in Review (4:53)

Three near-future psychics (Martin, Aykroyd, & Curtin) predict some upcoming events while host Maxine Universe (Newman) acts as the moderator.

– Fun concept here and I enjoyed the performances from all involved. Laraine served as a good straightman to all the craziness as well. Subdued craziness, but still.
– I enjoyed all the little predictions that they all came up with like the Pope’s cloning for isntance. The way Steve kept doing the thumb-removing trick while he was predicting stuff was a great quirk as well.
– The ending was funny too with the TIME Magazine cover that says “Send More Chuck Berry” and then the psychics predicting that Laraine will be fired from the show.
Rating: *** 1/2

16. Goodnights

– Steve does a pretty funny flub while thanking the cast.

OVERALL: One of the best episodes ever; not just during this season but in the entire history of Saturday Night Live. Steve had always been a fantastic host during his other four appearances but he really stepped up his game for this one and participated in classic after classic sketch. It was also fun to have Danny and John be the musical guests as well. Everything about this episode just falls into place. It’s a pretty good sign when the show is considering ‘slowed down’ during a batch of **** sketches. Awesome stuff.


HOST: STEVE MARTIN – 8 segments (Monologue; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Dancing in the Dark; King Tut; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair; Next Week in Review)

DAN AYKROYD – 7 segments (Rock Concert; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Weekend Update; Troff ‘n’ Brew; “I Don’t Know”; Next Week in Review)
JOHN BELUSHI – 5 segments (Rock Concert; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Love Story; Troff ‘n’ Brew; “I Don’t Know”)
JANE CURTIN – 6 segments (Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Weekend Update; Love Story; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair; Next Week in Review)
GARRETT MORRIS – 4 segments (Festrunk Brothers; Weekend Update; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)
BILL MURRAY – 4 segments (Monologue; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 4 segments (Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Next Week in Review)
GILDA RADNER – 6 segments (Hey You!; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)

TOM DAVIS – 3 segments (Hey You!; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew)
AL FRANKEN – 3 segments (Hey You!; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew)

EPISODE MVP: Gilda Radner